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How to Antique Kitchen Cabinets? – Be Your Own Designer

Be Your Own Designer

You’re here because you want to know how to antique kitchen cabinets. Antique furniture can be quite expensive; not everyone can afford to buy new vintage-style kitchen cabinets for their kitchen.

Why not give your existing kitchen cabinets a fresh look, with an antique touch? It’s going to be super-cheap since you can get the job done in just a small bunch of inexpensive supplies. Fear not, you don’t have to be artistic to do so; anyone can give their old kitchen cabinets an antique makeover.

Just follow our guide and create a beautiful vintage kitchen for yourself without wasting money on a specialist.

Supplies that you’ll need

It’s best to gather all your gear before starting any DIY project. You wouldn’t want to find out after opening a box of paint that you don’t have a paint roller. Save yourself the trouble and be prepared beforehand.

Here’s what you need to gather before starting:

  • Gloves
  • Sandpaper
  • Washcloth
  • Acrylic paint for the base
  • Antique glaze
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Polyurethane

Choice of color

Choice of color

Here’s another thing that you need to do before actually following the steps on how how to paint kitchen cabinets to look antique. You need to pick the colors for your kitchen cabinets. Now when we say colors, instead of color, it’s not by mistake.

We know you want your kitchen cabinets in a single tone, but you’ll need to pick a base color and a color for the antique glaze. It is the difference between the color of the base coat and the glaze coat that gives that adorned antique touch. There, the secret is out.

Use a lighter tone for the base color and a few shades darker for the glaze. The more significant the difference between the two shades, the more prominent the vintage look will be. If you’re painting the cabinets white or cream, you’ll need a mid-tone glaze. If the base coat is in a darker shade, you’ll need an even darker glaze. Simple, isn’t it?

Steps to follow

Once you have your supplies ready, follow the steps to give your kitchen cabinets a classy antique touch.

Step 1: Prepare the cabinets

The preparation of the cabinets is an essential preliminary step before you learn how to antique kitchen cabinets. Do it carefully. Here is a list of things that you need to do:

  1. Empty the cabinets. Take out all the stuff that’s inside so that you have more room to work.
  2. If you want to do the job correctly, take apart all the cabinets. Remove the doors, shelves, hinges, and handles. This step is entirely optional and can be skipped if you want to save time.
  3. Wipe the cabinets clean with a washcloth. If the cabinets are greasy, you should clean sticky kitchen cabinets properly with dish soap and water before starting the project.
  4. Sand the cabinets. Sand them nicely so that the surface of the cabinets is smooth for being repainted.
  5. Wipe cabinets with a dry cloth so that all the sawdust is removed and the surface is smooth and dust-free.

Step 2: Paint the base color

Once your cabinets are smooth and tidy, we’re ready for the next level. Let’s paint the base color. Here are some tips to follow when painting the base color:

  1. Follow the direction of the wood grain while applying the paint.
  2. First, use a paint roller to cover all the significant areas. Paintbrush can then be used for any spots that the roller missed out and the grooves where the roller won’t reach.
  3. Once you’ve applied the first coat to all the cabinets, let them dry completely.
  4. Apply a second coat to give a professional touch. Additional layers may be applied if you feel the need.
  5. Let the cabinets dry before moving to the next step.

Step 3: Apply antique glaze


Step 3: Apply antique glaze

Now it’s time for the real deal, that which made you come to this post in the first place! How to use antiquing glaze. So here is how:

  1. Use a smaller paintbrush for this step.
  2. Dip the paintbrush in the glaze and apply a thin coat to the areas where you want an antique touch.
  3. Move the paintbrush in the direction of the wood grains.
  4. It’s mostly the sides and corners that should be coated with the glaze since that’s where you want the vintage touch.
  5. Repeat the steps for each of the cabinets for an antique look to the entire space.

Step 4: Sand the cabinets

Once completely dried after the application of antique glaze, sand the cabinets lightly to blend in any non-uniform paint lines.

For this step, if you want an even more prominent vintage look, you can sand the glazed portions lightly when they are not completely dry. But remember to sand in the direction of the wood grains.

Step 5: Seal with Polyurethane

Let the cabinets dry before sealing the paint with a coat of polyurethane. Some people might skip this step to save time and a few bucks. However, it’s essential if you want the makeover you just spent so much time on to be durable. A single coat of clear polyurethane will do the job correctly and will keep the cabinets looking nice and fresh for a couple of years.

Step 6: Wrap it up

The job is done! Once everything is dry, reattach everything in place put back everything you took out from the cabinets.


There you go! That’s how to antique kitchen cabinets. Just follow all the steps, no matter how unimportant they seem. Choose the right combination of base color and glaze. You will have your DIY vintage looking kitchen in no time. Enjoy it every single time you walk in it to fix yourself a nice snack!